Finding your old pensions
Life is always on the move, whether it’s a change in home, job or partner. With these changes important documents, accounts and information gets misplaced or forgotten about. As a result, there is estimated to be 1.6 million pension pots worth nearly £20bn that are currently unclaimed.
One of the benefits of lockdown is finding the time to do the things we never got round to, such as ensuring all our information and financial arrangements are up to date and suitable. You may have all of your pension information from previous employers hidden away somewhere in the attic, but what if you can’t even remember who your pension was with.
Check any paperwork from your previous employers as it may show the details of the scheme, administrator or company.
If you can’t find any paperwork, contact your old employer with the dates you worked for them and ask for the contact details of the pension company.
If you can’t find your old employer, check Companies House or ask any former colleagues if they have any paperwork.
If you can’t track down your old employer at all, try the government’s Pension Tracing Service. It searches 200,000 schemes and supplies contact details of the companies you’ve had pensions with.
If the Pension Tracing Service cannot help, you can also ask HMRC. If you were contracted out of the State Second Pension in the past through a workplace scheme, HMRC may have details
Check any paperwork you have available including bank statements which may show where you sent contributions to
If you are unable to track down the pension company directly, the Pension Tracing Service should be your first port of call
If the Pension Tracing Service cannot help, the Pension Advisory Service can provide template letters to send to providers for more details.
You can also pay a fee to search the Unclaimed Assets Register.
The Pension Tracing Service
The Pension Tracing Service is free to use and can be accessed at www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details. It will tell you the contact details of the scheme but you will need to contact them directly to find out whether you have a pension with them. Before using the service, try to collect as much information as you can, including:
Name of your previous employer or pension service
Any previous names you’ve had
The type of business of your employer
Whether it changed address
When you were enrolled on to the scheme